Emergency Alerts Service Test on Sunday 23rd April
20th April 2023
What is the Emergency Alerts service?
Emergency Alerts is a new government service that will warn you if there is a danger to life nearby (e.g. flooding, fire). In an emergency, mobile phone masts will broadcast an alert in the affected area. The alert will automatically be received by compatible mobile phones and tablets in the area and will give advice about how to stay safe.
On Sunday 23rd April at 3pm the government will be sending a UK-wide Emergency Alerts test message to all compatible devices. The message will make clear that no action is required, that the message is simply a test and will provide a link where you can find further information on the Emergency Alerts service.
When you receive the message, your phone or tablet may vibrate and make a loud siren-like sound for about ten seconds, even if it is set on ‘silent’. The message will appear on your screen.
Can I opt out of receiving Emergency Alerts?
You can opt out of receiving Emergency Alerts by adjusting your device settings, though the government advice is to keep them switched on for your own safety.
If you are a survivor of domestic abuse with a secret or secondary phone or tablet, please be aware the Emergency Alert will play a sound even if your device is on silent.
To turn Emergency Alerts off, charity Refuge have created this short video to show you how. Click here to watch the video.
Who can send and receive Emergency Alerts?
Emergency Alerts work on all 4G and 5G mobile networks in the UK. Emergency Alerts can only be sent by the emergency services and by government departments that deal with emergencies.
They do not need your phone number to send you an alert – if your device is compatible, it will automatically receive the message. Data about you, your device or location will not be collected or shared.
You will not receive Emergency Alerts if your device is switched off, on aeroplane mode or connected to a 2G or 3G network. More information on Emergency Alerts can be found at www.gov.uk/alerts